Upwork vs Fiverr: which platform is best for hiring?

by Time Doctor
upwork vs fiverr

Are you looking to hire a remote worker, particularly a freelancer? If so, you may be familiar with companies like Upwork and Fiverr. But, how do you know which company is better and who has better freelancers?

Well, the short answer is Upwork and Fiverr are both verified, excellent companies. Where you end up selecting your freelancers will depend on the type of work you want done, your budget, and your preferences.

To help you get started, this article will present an overview of how both Upwork and Fiverr work, including their features and benefits. At the end of reading this article, you’ll be more familiar with both platforms and ready to start hiring a team of remote workers.

If you’re looking for an easy way to see which tasks your freelancers are working on, then check out Time Doctor free for 14 days.  You’ll see what tasks they’re working on right now, how long each task takes to complete, and see which apps and websites they’re visiting right now.


If you’re looking to hire a remote worker, Upwork is a great place to start. It’s over-saturated with talented freelancers in several industries. Not to mention, Upwork freelancers list their services for affordable prices.


How does Upwork work?

The process for finding talent on Upwork is simple. You start by creating an account. Once you have an account created, you can start posting your job listing on Upwork. Upwork is intuitive in the type of information you need to include and you can create a good listing by filling out the information they ask for.

However, where Upwork really shines is they also offer 4 short, yet comprehensive, training modules on what online work is, how to write the perfect listing to attract top talent, the best ways to vet profiles and hire good freelancers, and how to get better results.

These modules take less than an hour to complete, but will help you find a better freelancer using the Upwork platform. Of course, you can create a listing without watching the training modules, but the training modules are there to help guide you.

After you watch the modules, you can post your listing.

Upwork uses data science to highlight the freelancers that best match your job description. That way, you don’t have to worry about searching through thousands of freelancers to find a perfect fit.

Instead, you can browse through the top profiles to find a good match. You also have the option to browse a short list of talented freelancers on Upwork. You can reach out to people that pique your interest individually.

It’s helpful to have both the option for freelancers to reach out to you and for you to be able to contact freelancers. That way, you can find someone who interests you, has time for your project, and who will do a good job.

How do you know you’re getting a good freelancer?

If you’re looking for a quality freelancer, Upwork is a great place to start. Why? Because they have several measures in place to make sure the platform is fair and reliable.

Upwork verifies freelancers so you know they are who they say they are. They also display information about a person’s skill level to help you understand that you are getting the skills you ask for when hiring a freelancer.

Upwork authenticates email addresses to make sure you are communicating with who you want to reach. They also display each freelancer’s job success score as well as feedback on past projects. This helps you gauge how well a specific freelancer has performed in the past.

Upwork also provides results of online skills test. For example, if you are hiring a freelance writer, you can see how well they performed on writing and grammar skills test to ensure you’re getting the quality you need.

If the job success scores, past feedback, and online skills tests aren’t enough to determine the skills of a potential freelancer, you can also ask custom screening questions in your job posts.

Additionally, you can use Upwork’s video conference and chat features to interview your final candidates.

When it comes to hiring a quality freelancer, Upwork has thought of it all to make sure you’re getting the best of the best or at least have the tools in place to hire an excellent freelancer.

Will Upwork hire for you?

Upwork Pro

Let’s say you don’t have the time or energy to go through the screening process. You just want to hire someone skilled and hire them as quickly as possible. For this, Upwork offers the Upwork Pro service. This service, Upwork will personally sort through the talent marketplace to pre-vet the best professionals for your project.

This service also comes with dedicated talent matching and customer support and pro tools to help with collaboration.

How do you work within Upwork?

One of the biggest benefits of using a platform like Upwork is you can complete all of your communication through the Upwork platform.

In other words, you have a shared space with you, the client, and the freelancer to share files, communicate in real time via chat, video, or text, and you can even access the information on the go via the Upwork mobile app.

When you have one convenient location for file sharing, work communications, and more, it’s easier for everyone to stay on task and make sure the project is progressing along smoothly.

How do payment and taxes work in Upwork?

Payments are secure and occur through Upwork. Paying through Upwork protects both the freelancer and the client from any potential payment problems. You can rest assured that the details of the contract are clear and that everyone is getting paid what they should be getting paid. Nothing less and nothing more.

While payments occur through Upwork, you have a lot of flexibility on how you choose to pay your freelancer. For example, you can pay per hour or you can pay a fixed-price and use the licensed escrow account to release funds when certain milestones are met.

You can pay via MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, or PayPal. Like most other services, most payments are subject to a 2.75% processing fee.

You can also download invoices from Upwork for your records. However, taxes are handled by Upwork.

When you pay through Upwork and if your freelancer is correctly classified as an independent contractor, you aren’t responsible for reporting payments on a 1099. The escrow service is considered a “third-party payment network,” and that casts the responsibility of reporting onto Upwork, not your firm.

As such, Upwork will report payments to independent contractors on a 1099-K. Just remember you must properly classify your freelancers as independent contractors, rather than employees.

If your freelancer needs to be classified as an employee, then use the Upwork Payroll service. When you use this service, the staffing provider at Upwork will employ the worker, handle all of the withholding and payment of taxes, and provide the worker with a Form W-2.

With Upwork, payments and taxes are a breeze.

Related article: Check out our comprehensive review of Upwork.


Now that we’ve talked about the features and benefits of Upwork, let’s discuss another popular network for firms to hire freelance workers — Fiverr.


How does Fiverr work?

Fiverr started as a freelance network where you could hire a freelancer to complete a project for you for $5. This rate is still available for some newer freelancers and you can get awesome deals on work from good freelancers.

Fiverr has grown a lot since its inception and now freelancers can offer packages, or better services for more than $5. Freelancers will also sometimes offer basic services for $5 and then require additional payment for add-on services.

For example, if you hire someone to design a logo for you, they may charge you $5 for one concept, but then charge you additional prices for more services. They could charge you $10 for 3 more concepts, another $10 for different file saving options, another $10 for revisions, etc.

You’ll find that as you browse Fiverr now, most of the gigs don’t start at $5. While all freelancers now post different starting rates, the rates are still very reasonable and you’ll get a great deal hiring a freelancer from Fiverr.

What kind of work do Fiverr freelancers do?

Fiverr is a great network if you are looking for a diverse and robust skill set.

For example, you can hire freelancers on Fiverr to do anything including graphics, design, digital marketing, writing, translation, videos, animation, music, audio, programming, tech, business work, and there are even gigs that are fun and lifestyle related.

Sometimes it’s fun to browse Fiverr to see what kind of services are offered. Since they are so affordable, you can dabble in different services to see if it will affect the bottom line of your business.

How do you find freelancers on Fiverr?

One thing that is particularly cool about the Fiverr website is how it’s organized.

When you go to the Fiverr website, you can quickly sort the type of work you need. You can sort by selecting one of the categories.

fiverr categories

For example, if you need a freelance writer, there is a category called “Writing & Translation” where all the gigs are posted in that category. Since this is a broad topic, Fiverr also sorts writing and translation services into sub-categories including resumes and cover letters, proofreading and editing, translation, creative writing, business copywriting, research and summaries, articles and blog posts, press releases, transcription, legal writing, and other.

If this still doesn’t quite hit the mark or if you’ll need additional services, Fiverr also offers a list of related services for the category you selected. For writing, you’ll see related services including whiteboard and animated explainers, short video ads, SEO, social media marketing, and website builders and CMS.

But that’s not all!

Fiverr also has other ways you can refine your results. You can sort by the type of work you are looking for, delivery time, price range, seller status, gender, purpose, language, accent, age range, seller level, what the service includes, seller language, seller location, and more.

Each different service as different ways you can filter the results that pertain to the service. For example, the services listed above are for voice over services. For some services, gender or accent may not be applicable, but it is when it comes to voice acting.

Fiverr is unique in that you don’t post jobs and have freelancers apply to them. Instead, you have to have an idea of what you want in mind and then refine the results until you find a gig that fits your job description.

Again, the search results are easy to refine and there are several different freelance workers offering a wide variety of gigs, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a good freelancer if you’re requesting a common business service.

How does Fiverr vet their freelancers?

When you first start hiring freelancers on Fiverr, it’s important to realize that anyone can become a seller on Fiverr.

However, Fiverr doesn’t let you fly completely blind. They do have ways of vetting their freelancers.

fiverr level system

First of all, at the end of each gig completion, the buyer has the option to rate their satisfaction level with the freelancer and project on a 1-5 star scale. Freelancers accumulate ratings this way to show potential buyers how well they work.

Additionally, previous buyers can offer written feedback with each star rating. New buyers can browse through the seller’s profile and read the feedback to see what the freelancer’s strengths and weaknesses are.

Fiverr also classifies certain elite sellers as “top rated sellers,” meaning a particular freelancer provides an overall great customer experience.

Fiverr also will display if a seller is a “new seller,” a “level one seller,” or a “level two seller” in addition to their “top sellers.” This is another way Fiverr shows different classifications.

For a more in depth review of what each of the classifications mean, you can read about it directly on Fiverr.

Wrap up

When looking for a freelancer to join your team or to complete one-off projects, you have several options.

The good news is you can find great freelancers on both Upwork and Fiverr and both platforms have a way of vetting their freelancers.

The service you end up selecting will largely depend on your budget and personal preferences.

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